NATO/Super Automatic

NATO/Super Automatic

Typical of a very popular and inexpensive front-opening automatic model sometimes called the "NATO Automatic". The handles, switch, and some internal parts are plastic, while the external metal portions are rather cheaply chrome plated. The blade is stainless steel. These knives are notorious for the looseness of the blade in the open position and aren't really suitable for use as anything other than a letter-opener. As with most of these knives, the action is snappy and reliable. It is a double-action design (spring-loaded going in and out) with no safety mechanism. The blade is single-edged. I truly hope that no NATO troops go into battle with these in their pockets. (In all seriousness, there are some very high-quality versions of this knife that are used by paratroopers and other personnel who need a blade they can access easily and with one hand.)

If your kid brings home a cheap switchblade he bought at school, it will probably be a knife similar to this one. You can pick them up anywhere in Europe.

  • MFG: Unknown
  • MODEL: Super/NATO Automatic
  • TYPE: Automatic (dual-action)
  • ACTION: Front-opening
  • MECHANISM: Coil spring (dual)
  • BLADE LENGTH: 3.75"
  • PROS: Reliable action, inexpensive, action is pretty durable, guard prevents hand from slipping down blade.
  • CONS: Poor lock-up of blade (though it locks every time it's opened), lots of plastic, poor steel in blade, cannot be disassembled easily.
  • VALUE: Great as a souvenir.
  • OVERALL OPINION: Widely available and kind of fun, but not much use as a serious knife.
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